Newton, who resigned Monday, acknowledged in court that he accepted a $5,000 bribe in exchange for helping the director of a nonprofit job training agency secure a $100,000 grant.
Newton also admitted filing false tax returns and diverting $40,000 in campaign contributions for personal use over five years, which is considered mail fraud because the financial reporting forms were mailed.
Prosecutors said Newton used the money as his personal piggy bank, writing checks for services that weren't actually performed and then having those checks signed over to him. (Apuzzo)
Newton, as is often repeated, rose to the State Senate from the poorest neighborhood in Bridgeport. He's been a constant champion of the poor, and is still widely admired in his district. But he succumbed, in the end, to... what? Greed? Power? Madness?
Newton is a tragic figure, more like Jason or Macbeth than the Moses he claims to be. Even now he is at once noble and wicked: his plea deal is sparing another from prosecution. Newton, corrupt though he was, fell on his sword for someone else. Unlike the dramatic fall of Governor Rowland last year, Newton's resignation and conviction brings neither satisfaction nor triumph... only relief.
...The special election to replace him has been set for November 14th. Newton will be sentenced December 19th.
Apuzzo, Matt. "Newton Pleads Guilty." Hartford Courant 20 September, 2005.